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Planet of the Apes Movies ranked

by Released : 2024-01-16

1. Planet of the Apes (1968)

Planet of the Apes

An absolute Classic and one of the best Science fiction movies of all time. Charleston Heston gives a powerhouse performance, despite being released in 1968 the film has not aged a day, due to groundbreaking costumes and stage design. One of the best twist endings ever.

2. Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

One of the most underrated sequels of all time the film was overshadowed by the controversy of Beneath of the Planet of the Apes. A minor box office success the film is somehow the least known of the sequels, with the reboot films redoing 4th and 5th film in the franchise. Roddy Mcdowall and Kim Hunter are once again back, and should have been nominated for there work here. This film takes the apes to the past and has them interact with 1970s America, but things eventually take a tragic turn. Just like the original this film contains one of the best endings of all time. A poignant film that would allow the franchise to continue for years with the idea of their soncausing the revolution.

3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The best of the reboot films, Gary Oldman plays one of the best villans in the franchise, Jason Clarke is just as good as Franco, and Toby Keball plays the most evil ape Caesar has ever dealt with. The human aspect of this film is most fleshed out unlike other films in the franchise just pushed the human storyline to the side. 

4. War of the Planet of the Apes (2017)

War for the Planet of the Apes

The biggest in scale of the reboot films, Serkis was robbed of an oscar nomination and Steve Zahn is equally great as” bad ape”. The cgi in this film is some of the best of the 2010s, although Woody Harrison gives a strong performance the human aspect is pushed to the side. Sometimes the characters can feel lost in the action, but an emotional ending ends the reboot trilogy on a high mark, while successfully setting up a new era.

5. Rise of The Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Planet of the apes was dormant throughout the 1980s and 1990s, but was given relife by Tim Burton in 2001. However, after that film flopped the franchise seemed dead until James Franco and Andy Serkis saved it. Taking ideas from other films in the franchise, Rise of the Planet of the apes is a successful prequel to the original film and also succeeds in rebooting the franchise. Breathtaking motion capture and CGI as well as strong human performances offset a somewhat disappointing final act.

6. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

An inspiration for Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). This film gets a bad rap, for what some called budget constraints, however the retro SCI FI 1950s aesthetic has aged well, reminiscent of Logan's Run and Buck Rogers. Set in the year 1990 the film follows an older Caesar who was raised peacefully in human society. Ricardo Montalban also gives a fun performance in an expanded role. A commentary on 1960s police brutality and race riots, Conquest of the Planet of the apes is among the most violent and political of the franchise.  

7. Planet of the Apes (2001) 

Planet of the Apes

This film has had a tepid reaction over the years. Although a minor box office success when released making 362 million against a 100 million dollar budget (not counting marketing) the film was a critical flop and the sequel was canceled. The franchise would later have a successful rebooting making this film largely forgotten. Much was written about Mark Whalberg’s terrible line delivery in this movie as well as the film's cheesy ending However, what is forgotten is Paul Giamatti's dedicated performance and Tim Roth’s strong villainous  turn. Heavy on the political intrigue despite the film’s flaws I believe it is now underrated and unlike the reboots is most similar to the essence of the originals. The film also has great costumes and makeup, nominated for the oscar that year.

8.  Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

An acid trip of a sequel, what’s frustrating about this film is that after surviving a grueling adventure in the first one. Heston, who the studio could not afford instead, is written out of the film. Instead the film provides a human character lead that the audience doesn't care about. I applaud the film for trying to go in a completely different direction even though it's misguided. The film lacks the presence of Roddy Mcdowall or fleshed out characters. However, its subplot with mind controlled mutants that survived a Nuclear Holocaust provides some trippy visuals. The ugly duck of this franchise is worth a watch for some of its intriguing concepts and  out of curiosity. Heston cared so little about his work in this film that he donated his contract money to charity. 

9. Planet of the Apes (1974)

Planet of the Apes

This spinoff of the 1968 film: “Hurled 1,100 years into the future, astronauts Alan Virdon and Pete Burke find themselves in a society where humans are subservient to super-intelligent apes.” This show follows a new set of astronauts and was produced by CBS. The purpose of this show was to flesh out the world of the apes shown in the original film. The show has great costume design just like the films and even had Roddy McDowall returning. It was given a large budget of 250,000 per episode. But, some episodes look great while others look cheap. The best episode of the series is the gladiator fight episode which pits the humans in a gladiator style match vs ape warriors. A concept that is hopefully expanded upon in the new film: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024)

10.Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975)

Return to the Planet of the Apes

Largely forgotten, the show's stale writing and cheap animation make it a tough watch. However, in some episodes the drawings look great, as well as the lush backgrounds. The most interesting part of this show is its portrayal of the human race. In the previous films the humans are shown as a primitive ape like species or astronauts. But, this show depicts a technologically advanced society, complete with flying automobiles, with technology on par with the apes. The show is also based on the marvel comic books series that was released from 1974-1977

11. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

The only film where the costumes look cheap and  the scale of the film is too small. War of the Planet of the Apes (2017) would later succeed where this film failed in showing a last conflict between the humans and the apes. The film is a disaster and is let down by an awful script and rushed ending. However, John Hutson and Paul Williams give fun performances and the film sets up the Nuclear Holocaust in a smart way.